April 2016

Dear Parent/Carer

PARENT QUESTIONNAIRE – APRIL 2016

Thank you for completing the online survey. The vast majority of comments were very positive and recognised the immense commitment given by our students, families and staff to make Bishop Challoner a great school in which to learn and develop.

The issues which arose most often as requiring further efforts were:-

COMMUNICATION 
(i) Mixed success for some parents/carers with ‘daily’ communication.

School response: 

We are exploring improvements in the school telephone system.

We are making the email addresses of Heads of Year, Heads of Departments and SMT more explicitly clear on the website.

Investment in a new phone system is, however, unlikely in the short-term. It would, therefore, be most useful if parents/carers used email whenever possible.

(ii) Advice regarding internal school assessment windows needs to be more transparent, so that parents/carers can support students with revision.

School response: 

We now have published forthcoming examinations on the website (Y7, 9 and 10). This will be the case for all year groups in future.

We have held revision study guidance sessions for parents/carers of students in Y7, 9, 10 & 11. These have been repeated in student assemblies. Again these will be repeated in future sessions.

(iii) Detailed information regarding a student’s progress is not always as easy as would be wished to access for Parents/Carers.

School response: 

We are re-issuing to parents/carers their SIMS Learning Gateway (SLG) usernames and passwords (if required). Parents/carers will then be able to see details of their child’s attendance, punctuality, personal details, behaviour and achievement points and past report.

We are reminding parents/carers that on PCD they are not limited to seeing just Personal Tutors but can also see subject teachers.

Email addresses are being made more explicitly clear on the website.

HOMEWORK

(i) There were, as last year, 7 comments regarding either the quantity or quality of homework set in KS3.

School response: 

As last year, we have asked Heads of Year to audit homework set and to feedback to SMT. When we did this previously we did not uncover great lapses, expectations were high for all students, as reflected by our Mission Statement. What was clear was that in a mature school, with exceptionally high outcomes, professional judgments regarding the effectiveness of homework at times influenced the decision for the requirement of home study.

(ii) Personal Organiser usage could be improved in some cases.

School response:
We have asked Heads of Year in KS3 to review the use of the organisers.

In addition to asking parents/carers, all staff have been asked their opinion of the organiser as a form of home/school liaison.

We are investigating the use of an aspect of Microsoft 365 as an alternative digital system of homework communication.

It would be hoped that for specific questions, parents/carers would now access the more readily viewable email addresses to receive advice and support.

There were many very positive comments included in the feedback to the school. As with the issues, which we are exploring, we have also shared these with staff.

I would like to leave the following comment from one parent.

“The school evokes a sense of optimism that every child can achieve something no matter how small and celebrates every one of them. There is huge pressure on schools to deliver ‘results’ but there is a sense of reality in Bishop Challoner that children come in all shapes”.

Our school aspires for this to be the byword for all families.

With all best wishes,

Yours sincerely

K McEvoy
PRINCIPAL

A SHORT SUMMARY OF RESPONSES TO “COMMUNICATION” REQUESTS:-

  • Phone system – we are exploring alternative systems
  • Email addresses – higher profile and Head of Year, Head of Department, SMT on website
  • SLG – passwords – re-sent to parents/carers
  • Study Skills Evenings – hold week beginning 11/4/16
  • Study Skill Assemblies – ongoing
  • Forewarning of exam windows – on website as of 11/4/16
  • Earlier text of INSET days – ongoing
  • Parent page on website – due to be launched
  • Extend Friday registration – to more closely examine personal organisers
  • Personal Organisers – Heads of Year to review usage and design.